“Do you know that John Glenn visited right here to get a really feel for strolling on the moon?” requested Johann Helgi Gislason, a member of the host staff on the Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland, as he gave me the welcome tour.
Looking on the lunarscape exterior the partitions of home windows that adorn the property, I might simply imagine it. Regardless of being bleary-eyed after my direct in a single day Icelandair flight from New York, I used to be struck by the otherworldly look of the lava fields that encompass the property.
I would visited the well-known Blue Lagoon earlier than, positioned about 14 miles from Keflavik Airport, and skilled the wonders of the general public lagoon space, however the 62-room Retreat takes that have to a different stage.
Nestled near the bottom and with unique entry to personal areas of the lagoon, the boutique property places leisure and self-care entrance and middle, with a hearty dose of sustainability and environmental friendliness on the aspect.
However whereas the lodge is over-the-top posh, it exudes a relaxed vibe (image visitors wandering the halls of their robes and spa slippers).
Breakfast is within the foyer lounge, the place you simply present up and waitstaff with good English immediately seem, providing buffet and a la carte choices — all complimentary for visitors. Ditto complimentary afternoon espresso (a Nordic custom, though tea and cocoa are additionally out there), full with tiered plates of pastries and savory snacks.
The principle attraction on the Retreat, nonetheless, is the 13,500-square-foot subterranean spa, inbuilt and among the many lava formations and providing entry to each the personal and public geothermal lagoon areas.
For my first foray, I made a beeline for one of many personal lagoon areas to soak within the heat, blue water. I then made my approach to the Blue Lagoon Ritual space, the place spa employees information you thru steps aimed toward making the most effective use of the therapeutic properties of the geothermal function.
The subterranean spa on the Retreat. Photograph Credit score: Courtesy of Blue Lagoon Iceland
Going gaga for the goo
If you happen to’ve ever seen photographs of individuals on the Blue Lagoon smiling with white glop on their faces, that is the well-known silica that folks swear by for revitalizing the pores and skin. On the public lagoon, guests scoop it out of buckets and slather it on, however on the Retreat, the mud is extra elegantly utilized in a grotto-like setting, with leisure areas the place you may wait whereas the goo works its magic.
Purposes of algae and minerals observe, a few of that are presupposed to bestow medicinal in addition to beauty advantages. Submit-treatment rooms vary from cozy nooks with fireplaces and lounge chairs to hanging-basket seats within the Nest, the place I typically discovered myself swinging in a spa-induced coma, gazing transfixed on the steaming blue water.
I additionally opted for the Retreat’s latest spa providing, a float remedy remedy the place you don a helmet and floatation pads to your knees that assist you to bob simply on the water whereas a therapist alternately strikes you round within the water and affords a lightweight therapeutic massage.
For visitors who need an much more unique spa expertise or for households with younger kids who would not usually be allowed within the lagoon, there’s a rentable Lava Cove day suite that accommodates as much as six, affords butler service, in-room remedies and entry to its personal personal lagoon.
Different options on the property embrace day by day group yoga and a health middle in addition to a library with a hearth and honor bar. The concierge can prepare off-property excursions, like guided excursions of the Reykjanes Peninsula in a chauffeur-driven sedan, a non-public helicopter or an ATV.
There is also a Terrace from the place visitors, who can choose to be woken, might view the northern lights, ought to they seem.
There are six suite classes on the Retreat, all with personal terraces and heated flooring. Photograph Credit score: Courtesy of Blue Lagoon Iceland
Room with a view — and way more
I do not often spend quite a lot of time in a lodge guestroom, irrespective of how posh, however I did on this case, principally due to the view of the lava fields punctuated by a stream of iridescent blue lagoon water, the large bathtub providing the identical view, the spa-centric skincare facilities and the beneficiant minibar with complimentary drinks.
There was what Gislason known as a forest within the distance, though what I noticed — and solely with my glasses on — was extra like a Christmas tree farm. That mentioned, there are strolling paths to the timber for individuals who need a bit solid-ground exercise.
Remember that the guestrooms do not need TVs, a call that property builders didn’t take flippantly, however which provides to the appeal.
As to eating on the property, convey your inside foodie. I had lunch on the Spa Restaurant, the place I tucked into a large platter of king crab legs whereas watching visitors imbibe Champagne and smoothies on the swim-up bar.
One night time we ate on the Lava Restaurant, the place native components like recent fish and beef took middle stage in a bistro ambiance. The final night time, nonetheless, we had been handled to a eating extravaganza on the Michelin-recommended Moss Restaurant — a part of a brand new Visitor Chef and Wine Pairing sequence — spearheaded by chef Aggi Sverrisson and accompanied by visitor vintner John Schwartz from the Amuse Bouche vineyard in Napa, who plied us with vintages from his vineyard.
The property’s grasp sommelier, Clement Robert, is readily available for visitors who wish to take pleasure in the same multicourse Chef’s Desk expertise, and be ready for not solely lovely menu choices — together with vegan dishes — but in addition eye-popping shows.
There are six suite classes, all with personal terraces and heated flooring, and charges begin at $1,260 for a 431-square-foot Lava View Junior Suite; the speed for the 754-square-foot, two-bedroom Blue Lagoon Suite is accessible on request.